the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Pett's Commentary on the Bible Pett's Commentary
- 3 John
by Peter Pett
This was more of a personal letter to a beloved friend and ‘child’. Gaius was a humble church member who, in the face of powerful opposition from within the church, welcomed true men of God who came from outside, and gave them hospitality. He probably thought nothing further of it. But he became a glorious example which would echo through the ages when the important people (in their own eyes) of the church were forgotten. For he gave the equivalent of a cup of cold water in the name of the Messiah (Matthew 10:42).
John had a pastor’s heart and he felt that Gaius needed encouraging. There was a leader in the church in that region called Diotrephes who was separatist, and trying to keep his section of the church for himself. He sought to dissuade the church members connected with him from welcoming travelling preachers, even though they were true men of God. John writes to spur Gaius on in his godly behaviour.